Thursday, February 27, 2014

Updated videos :)

The P. venusta larvae from trial 5 are 105 days old today. I had wanted to post a video at day 100 but life has been so hectic that it didn't happen. I'm sorry about that but better late than never, so here is an updated video taken two days ago on day 103. I'm very happy that the larvae are beginning to get more color and in this video I focused on the most advanced larva in terms of color/markings. Her fins and tail have filled in and her forehead color is developing. In fact she already shows more color on her forehead today.

I also have an updated video of the blonde larva taken on day 98. She pretty much looks the same, and the only difference I have noticed in her recent development is that she is going to bed earlier. Earlier than the rest of the larvae and earlier than she used to turn in. I have no idea what this means but it scares me when I do a head count before lights out and she's no where to be seen! Thankfully, she's always there with the rest of the gang waiting for breakfast in the morning.

The P. venusta larvae from Trial 6 are 12 days old today and doing great on only cultured parvo. They look very similar in development to 12 day old larvae fed wild plankton. I will be transferring them to a clean tank this weekend and will get an accurate count at that time.

We also had a little spawning action from Faith and Fabio a week ago. They produced a good sized spawn yet only 41 eggs were fertile and many of the fertile eggs did not develop well. I started a new larval tank with them but by day 5 there were only 3 larger left. :(   The good news is that Faith seems to be more interested in Fabio and they are improving on their spawning dance. Hopefully practice will make perfect!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Venusta Valentine Spawn

I've started another larval run with P. venusta eggs spawned on Valentines Day.  :)
I've been itching to get another larval run going and getting frustrated with infertile eggs from the brood stock that are spawning. The venusta had not been spawning lately so this was a nice gift from them.

I would have liked to set up two larval tanks, split the eggs into two groups and compare wild plankton against cultured live feeds. Since there were only 295 fertile eggs produced this time which is very close to the 284 venusta eggs stocked on the last larval run, I've put them all in one larval tank. So although it is not the best scientific method, I will use only cultured foods this time around in a comparison against the last run which was fed wild plankton as well as cultured foods. I will do my best to keep parameters as close as possible to the last run for a good comparison. There are of course always going to be variables but as long as we learn something from it and move forward I'll be happy. :)

Our previous P. venusta larvae are at day 94 today and I have to laugh at that. They had such relatively fast development in their first two weeks of life that I had hoped they might be fully settled out by the New Year. Now here we are well into February and 94 days old without juvenile coloration!

In the 20 gallon venusta tank I turned up the heat a notch from 26C to 27C in an effort to see if that would help to promote settlement since they are a tropical species. I was worried that it might cause bacterial problems but thought it was worth a try. Unfortunately I can now only see one larva where there should be four….. :(

In the 40 gallon venusta tank some larvae have grown slightly over the past couple of weeks and some seem to have stayed the same in size. The larger are developing more black in the dorsal area towards the caudal and the golden yellow area at the first few dorsal spines is becoming a more vibrant yellow.
All 11 larvae in this tank are looking good including the unknown blonde.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

There has not been much to report lately which is good and bad.
The good is that the larvae (except one) are all doing well. There has not been much development but they are still growing slowly in size. They are recognizing that a person approaching their tank means food is coming and they get quite excited and start zipping around. I thinks that behavior is very cute and shows how smart they are at this early age but it sure makes filming more difficult.

Blog follower Ed has asked if the reason that the golden/blonde larva hangs out in the upper water column may be due to aggression from the other larvae. I have watched for aggression and have seen some bickering over space between the venusta larvae but I have not seen any directed towards the blonde larva. She has been more benthic the last couple of days but when the camera came out she went up and so is not part of todays video.
Here is the video taken today (day 83) of the P. venusta larvae.

Sadly, one of the larvae died today. She was one on the smaller larvae from the 20 gallon tank, and was thin and unbalanced this morning. Here is her photo.

I continue to collect spawns from Faith and Fabio's tank and they are often large spawns. Unfortunately they are still not fertile. I think what is happening is that Fabio does his spawning dance and Faith is somewhat interested. By 10pm Fabio goes to bed and Faith releases her eggs sometime between midnight and 1am. I'm finding this frustrating!! And I bet Fabio is as well!!